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2000 November - December

Welfare Reform and the College Option in California

Lessons Learned

By Diana Spatz, Jodie Berger & Tamu K. Hamed

Federal welfare reform limited education and training opportunities for parents on public assistance. As a result, perhaps the most significant impact of welfare reform has been to move greater numbers of parents from welfare to low-wage, dead-end jobs. Successful grass-roots and legal advocacy strategies have been used in California to protect access to postsecondary education under welfare reform. In the 2001–2002 reauthorization of Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, legislation should be formulated to protect, improve, and encourage such access.

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A Vital Child Care Quality Initiative

Addressing the Needs of License-Exempt Home Child Care Providers

By Daniel Lesser

Low-income families rely more heavily on relatives and other license-exempt home child care providers than do higher-income families. Thus legal services providers and other advocates for low-income people must become knowledgeable about and actively involved in issues affecting license-exempt providers. Such issues include who these providers are, why parents place so many children in this form of care, questions that have arisen as to the quality of care children receive in these settings, and the proper policy response to these quality concerns.

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Affirmative Litigation Under the Legal Services Corporation Restrictions

By Raun J. Rasmussen

The 1996 Legal Services Corporation restrictions imposed severe constraints on the work legal services lawyers do. Those restrictions should be repealed, but, until they are, lawyers and advocates still have effective ways to serve their clients through aggressive high-volume and targeted-issue litigation and affirmative litigation on behalf of groups or individuals. These types of advocacy not only can accomplish broad and meaningful results but also involve creative and exciting legal services work.

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The Supreme Court's Reeves Decision Levels the Playing Field in Employment Discrimination Cases

By Tom Osborne

The U.S. Supreme Court clarifies the legal standard for employment discrimination cases in its recently issued Reeves decision. The Reeves opinion rejects the so-called pretext-plus rule, which lower courts have applied in employment discrimination cases, and it articulates the proper standard of review of Rule 50 motions, which should make it easier for plaintiffs to prove discriminatory intent.

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Decisions on Federal Court Access During the Supreme Court's 1999–2000 Term

Some Social Security, a Little Federalism, and More of the Usual

By Matthew Diller, Jane Perkins, Gary F. Smith & Gill Deford Several decisions issued by the U.S. Supreme Court last term will affect federal court practice for public interest practitioners. Two involved federal court access under the Social Security Act and two others rejected the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and the Violence Against Women Act as beyond the scope of congressional power to abrogate state sovereign immunity. Other decisions upheld federal court access in the face of challenges based on lack of standing or mootness and reviewed the standards of deference applicable to administrative agencies' interpretations of federal statutes. Download this article   |   Read more ➢
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